First 388 words of the document:
Global issues climatic hazards
Effects of hurricanes on people- case study of Hurricane Katrina
Social- 1400, killed, thousands homes lost due to flooding
Economic-$75bn worth damage
Environmental- 1500 miles of coastal wetlands were destroyed, 80% of
New Orleans flooded
Short term- 350,000 evacuated, accurate predictions from US weather
service issued hurricane watch and hurricane warnings and gave accurate
predictions as to where Katrina would make landfall, superdome set up as a
refuge for those unable to leave.
Long term- new levee system designed to withstand category 3 hurricane,
many areas that were worst hit still haven't been repaired.
Causes of large number of deaths and damage for the US' level of development
High level of exposure and vulnerability: 12 million living along coastal strip
between Louisiana and Florida. Population densities along there are twice
the US average. Also gradual loss of coastal wetlands due to gas extraction
leading to subsidence and hard engineering of Mississippi river had
prevented the transportation of sediment to the wetlands, meaning the
wetlands can't naturally repair damage.
Katrina is very powerful: 4th biggest hurricane ever to make landfall in the
UK (sustained wind speeds of 281kmph and gust of up to 340kmph along
with 8-9 metre storm surges).
Levee system: not built to withstand a category 5 hurricane and the
breaking of levees made flooding worse. The levee was found to be unable
to survive a category 1 hurricane as the levees were built on weak clay soil
as the soil type was not considered in the design. Therefore the foundations
weren't deep enough allowing water to go under the levee before
overtopping it, weakening it further.
Poverty: Significant numbers of people are too poor to own a car, mentally
ill or elderly and therefore couldn't evacuate. They also lived in cheaper
housing in areas most prone to flooding.
New Orleans is built 8m below sea level: it is also surrounded by water
from the Mississippi river and several large lakes making it vulnerable to
Hurricane is a natural event: no amount of prevention would fully stop the
amount of damage of the hurricane.